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The Hangover With J.R. Mannigel

Preseason games suck, Fabbri is hurt, Rutherford writes and the Scott gets renovated.

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NHL: Preseason-Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

I am writing this tonight while I watch the Blues play the Penguins and although I would like to brag on my multitasking skills I have to admit that it really isn’t that difficult.

Granted tonight’s game is a lot more interesting than the shit show that was on my t.v. Saturday night I still find myself wondering why the NHL even bothers with these games.

In all honesty I would much rather watch three weeks of team scrimmages than I would three weeks of pointless games that no one, including the players, have any desire to sit through.

Think about it, the team scrimmages would be just like real games with paid officials, in game entertainment and everything else you would need to enjoy a hockey game.

The teams would be a balanced mix of veterans and prospects which would allow the coaching staff as well as the fans to get a much more in-depth and consistent look at the entire Blues roster.

I really don’t think that tempo would be an issue. Players are still fighting for roster spots but instead of going up against some six year veteran on an Eastern Conference team that could give two shits about the game they would instead be squaring off against the very person they are trying to send back to the minors. Talk about some battles.

Instead of watching thirty minutes of power plays the team could dictate exactly how they wanted the game to be called. Want to let the boys go at it, great. Want to keep the game more about speed, transition and goal scoring, tell the players the calls will be tight. Instead of a power play they could just have the offender go to the end of the bench and continue with 5 on 5 play. The possibilities are limitless.

Broadcasting shouldn’t be an issue either. They are selling advertising no matter who is on the ice and let’s face it, that is all they really care about anyways.

And then of course there is the big one, injuries. In case you haven’t heard it was announce Sunday afternoon that Robby Fabbri will miss the rest of camp because of a issue with his surgically repaired knee. He will be re-evaluated in ten days which will mean he will not play another preseason game.

Add him to the list of Zach Sanford, Alex Steen and Jay Bouwmeester and I think it is fair to say that lady luck has not been in the Blues corner to start the season.

Granted neither Sanford or Fabbri’s injuries had anything to do with malicious play let alone preseason competition, the fact is that Steen’s did. And one injury to a high profile player is one too many.

Would Steen’s injury have happened if he was playing against a teammate? Maybe, but I doubt it. Believe me, a young Blues prospect is going to think twice about giving Alexander Steen a wack on the hands regardless of how bad he wants to make the team.

Jeremy Rutherford wrote about who he thinks is going to make the Blues final round of roster cuts. While I agree with everything he says I have to admit that the kid who has impressed me the most is Sam Blais, who I learned Sunday night is pronounced BLAY and not BLAZE.

He isn’t as smooth as Kostin and he doesn’t have the size of Thompson but the kid is just always in the play and he never quits. I love it. I would compare him more to a Jaden Schwartz then I would a Vladimir Tarasenko which is not a knock on him at all. In fact it speaks a lot for Blais work ethic and determination. And in this league a great work ethic with a little talent will take you farther than a lot of talent and little drive.

Last Tuesday night I went the Town Hall the Blues had at the Scottrade Center. I’ll admit that when I wrote my piece for Game Time that night I was just a little disappointed. Everything that the club had done to the building was done well and was definitely needed but, other than the new video board, it was just ok.

I understand that there are still a lot of renovations to come and the Blues fixed their most dire needs first but much of the in game experience has still not been improved.

I would say it like this, the renovations were everything I expected and little that I had hoped for.

Don’t get me wrong, I will still be going to Blues games. It’s just that my level of complaining will remain the same.

Thanks for reading and Go Blues!